News, Culture & Society

‘Lollipop ladies’ working at construction sites are raking in up to $100 an hour

Hundreds of young women are taking up roles at construction sites where they earn well over $100,000 to hold up a sign – four times more than some teachers and nurses.

Among the tradies, the rubble, and the work vans across Australia are women who are raking the cash in traffic controllers or ‘lollipop ladies’.

Workers on the Metro Tunnel and West Gate Tunnel ­sites in Melbourne are on at least $105,000 a year amid ballooning project costs.

Others in Sydney said they earned $130,000 a year and some patrolling the lonely outback highways of the Northern Territory almost as much.

Hundreds of young women are taking up roles at construction sites where they earn well over $100,000 to hold up a sign 

Among the tradies, the rubble, and the work vans across Australia are women who are raking the cash in traffic controllers or 'lollipop ladies'

Among the tradies, the rubble, and the work vans across Australia are women who are raking the cash in traffic controllers or ‘lollipop ladies’ 

Infrastructure booms across the country created unprecedented demand for construction workers – and high salaries to attract them.

More than 12,000 people are now working on Melbourne’s major government projects, and thousands more in other cities. 

The best paid workers are tunnellers who can rake in up to $263,000 due to the danger involved in the work.

Crane operators get $122 an hour on the Melbourne projects, while borehead operators are paid $118 and riggers and pipe layers $107.

Builders often blame cost blowouts on huge wages and allowances built into union contracts, with five per cent wage rises built into the awards.

However, unions say wages are just a fraction of the cost and they are deserved because workers do long hours in dangerous conditions.

Dozens of women are standing guard along fenced area on Sydney's George Street, where hundreds of tradies are working no the light rail network

Dozens of women are standing guard along fenced area on Sydney’s George Street, where hundreds of tradies are working no the light rail network

It's all about girl power at Trafficwerx NT, where its traffic controllers are predominately female

It’s all about girl power at Trafficwerx NT, where its traffic controllers are predominately female

Working as a traffic controller might not be every girl’s dream but the job is a great way to get your foot in the door, Altus Traffic events general manger Bethany Lilford said.

Ms Lilford began working as a traffic controller when she was studying psychology and needed flexible hours and good pay. 

She has worked her way up over the years and now organises major events for the company. 

She is encouraging young women to take the plunge and give the job a chance.

‘To anybody that does want to be in the industry, I would tell them not be scared. There is a little bit of a stigma, but that bridge is closing in.’ 

Dozens of women are standing guard along fenced area on Sydney’s George Street, where hundreds of tradies are working no the light rail network.  

Women in Sydney said they earned $130,000 a year and some patrolling the lonely outback highways of the Northern Territory almost as much

Women in Sydney said they earned $130,000 a year and some patrolling the lonely outback highways of the Northern Territory almost as much

Unions say wages are just a fraction of the cost and they are deserved because workers do long hours in dangerous conditions

Unions say wages are just a fraction of the cost and they are deserved because workers do long hours in dangerous conditions

These women are pocketing a hefty pay packet, earning up to $60 an hour depending on the day and the time they work.   

One woman Daily Mail Australia spoke to had ditched her job as a teacher to become a traffic controller.

‘I was looking for a change of lifestyle. I was working as a teacher but this pays a lot more.’

One ‘lollipop lady’, Amy Dowsett, has raked in $130,000 a year since joining the trade. 

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union member earns over $40 an hour and also receives a $45 per day travel allowance and a $22 meal allowance.

Depending on the size of the project, she is also paid a site allowance of between $2.10 and $3.95 per hour.

Pay varies from state to state but workers can pocket about $26 an hour to $55 an hour depending on the job, according to online job site Indeed. The jobs usually include penalty rates, allowances and superannuation

Pay varies from state to state but workers can pocket about $26 an hour to $55 an hour depending on the job, according to online job site Indeed. The jobs usually include penalty rates, allowances and superannuation

And if she works more than 10 hours at her Penrith building site, she receives double time.

Pay varies from state to state but workers can pocket about $26 an hour to $55 an hour depending on the job, according to online job site Indeed. The jobs usually include penalty rates, allowances and superannuation.

One job advertisement included a company vehicle.

The salary is justified though, industry insiders say, as traffic controllers have to stand outside in all weather and they generally cop abuse from the public.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.